Helen was born Jan. 30, 1918, in Bloomfield, Iowa, to Paul and Leah (Stansberry) Killion. Her mother died when she was 2and she was raised by her Aunt Edith. After high school, Helen attended the Pratt Art School, in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she studied interior design and graduated with honors. She returned to Iowa to manage her grandfather’s gift store where she married her high school sweetheart, Paul F. Ritter, in Centerville on March 23, 1940. They moved to Southern California, settling in Orange County. Helen worked as a data processor for the Orange County Unified School District until retirement. She and Paul purchased a second home in Crescent City where they eventually moved in 1987.
Though she enjoyed quilting, sewing, knitting, china painting, and reading, she also had a less tame side that was always up for a challenge. This included learning to water ski and paraglide well into her 70s and owning and riding a Honda 125 trail bike. She and Paul also enjoyed traveling around the country in their retirement.
Helen was very active in the community including volunteering with the Senior Center and the R.S.V.P. program helping in the Del Norte School District. She was also a member of the Crescent City Women’s Club, a widow’s support group, quilting club, an investment club in Orange, Calif., and attended Calvary Chapel of the Redwoods until her health wouldn’t allow it.
Survivors include her sons and daughters-in-law, Richard and Jill Ritter of Laguna Hills, Calif., Jake and Lesley Ritter of Crescent City and Mike and Shirley Ritter of Crescent City, grandchildren and their spouses, Jeff Ritter, Stephanie and Keith Allen, Sara and Jay Vigeland, Aaron and Beth Ritter, Joshua and Haley Ritter, Amy and Rivers Drown, Katie and Beau Smith, great-grandchildren, Ben and Mackenzie Allen, Spenser, Peyton, Gabriel, and Isabella Schrier, Alex and Nathan Ritter, Kaden, Jaylee, Avrey, and Lincoln Ritter, Bailee and Evan Drown, and Khloe Smith. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Paul, sister, Maxine Rolls, daughter-in-law, Sandi Ritter, and great grandson William.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.redwoodmemorial.net.
— Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel